With the annual general meeting slated for 7 December, two panels of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) are preparing for the next election.
BGMEA sources said the next election is scheduled to be held at the end of March or early April next year.
Apparel entrepreneurs traditionally compete to elect their leadership for two years under the banners of Sammilita Parishad and Forum, a panel of BGMEA's registered members.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq will contest the next election as the panel leader of Forum.
Confirming the matter, DBL Group Vice-chairman MA Rahim Feroz told The Business Standard, "Mohammadi Group Managing Director Rubana Huq will lead our panel in the next election."
"We estimate that the next election will be held in April 2021 if the coronavirus situation does not deteriorate," added Feroz, also the vice-president (finance) of BGMEA from Forum.
Echoing him, Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury (Parvez), a former president of BGMEA from Forum, said "We have decided that the current panel leader will contest the next election."
"At the end of October, Sammilita Parishad selected Giant Group Managing Director Faruque Hassan as the panel leader to contest the upcoming election," said Shahidullah Azim, a former vice-president of BGMEA from Sammilita Parishad.
A number of former BGMEA leaders will also be in the panel of Sammilita Parishad considering their experience to serve the association, he added.
Faruque is a former vice-president of the apex apparel trade body and a former president of Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Currently, he is serving as the honorary consul general of Greece to Bangladesh.
Both panels jointly formed a panel titled Sammilita Forum after the election in 2013. The election was not held in 2015 as both Sammilita Parishad and Forum jointly decided to elect the board.
Later, on 22 September, 2015, Md Siddiqur Rahman was elected the BGMEA president from Sammilita Parishad and served as the head of the apex apparel trade body for three years and seven months after getting extension three times from the government.
The two panels decided to choose the leadership for the next two terms based on consensus.
But in 2018, another new panel named Swadhinata Parishad was formed aiming to bring Sammilita Forum to the elections.
As per an earlier commitment, Sammilita Forum chose Rubana as the panel leader.
In April 2019, Rubana was elected the president from Forum to lead the association for the 2019-2021 term.
The BGMEA, having around 4,500 members, is being run by a 35-member board of directors, including seven vice-presidents.
"We want to choose BGMEA leadership through a fair election. Otherwise, the leader will not be responsible and liable to the members," said Zahangir Alam, convener of Swadhinata Parishad.
He said he had not decided to contest the election yet.